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Family Rubiacea
Ixora chinensis Lam.
Shan dan

Scientific names Common names
Ixora chinensis Lam. Santan (Bik., Tag.)
Ixora stricta Roxb. Santan-pula (Tag.)
Ixora flammea Salisb. Santan-tsina (Tag.)
  Needle flower (Engl.)
  Chinese ixora (Engl.)
  Jungle flame (Engl.)
In Quisumbing's compilation, both species of Ixora chinensis and Ixora coccinea share the local commons names (1) santan, and (2) santan-pula.
Quisumbing's compilation lists I. chinensis and I. coccinea as separate species while some compilations list them as synonyms.

Other vernacular names
CAMBODIA: Kam rontea
CHINESE: Mai zi mu.
MALAY: Pechah priok
VIETNAM: Dun trung quoc, dun do

Gen info
There are about 500 species in the genus Ixora. A few are in cultivation. There are numerous cultivars differing in flower color (yellow, pink, orange) and plant size. Several cultivars are dwarfs, under 3 feet. Other noteworthy ornamental santans: santan puti (Ixora finlaysoniana Wall), a shrub 2-4 m high, with white fragrant flowers; and Philippine santan (Ixora philippinensis Merr), a shrub or small tree, with white to pink flowers.

Santan-tsina is an erect, smooth shrub 1.5 to3 meters in height. Leaves are opposite, sessile, oblong-obovate to elliptic-oblong, 7 to 13 centimeters in length, pointed at both ends, and borne on short petioles. Flowers are many, crowded in dense, corymbose clusters, 6 to 12 centimeters in diameter, light orange- red, red, yellow or white.Calyx-teeth are short and obtuse. Corolla is pink or reddish, 2 to 2.5 centimeters long, with rounded lobes 5 to 7 millimeters in length.

- Cultivated for ornamental purposes; nowhere established.
- Introduced to the Philippines at an early date.
- Occurs in India to southern China and is widely distributed in Malaya and other tropical countries.

- Roots yield an iridoid derivative called ixoside (1,8-dehydroxyforsythide).

Parts used
Flowers, roots, leaves.


- In the Philippines, infusion of fresh flowers, drunk ad libitum, is said to be good for incipient tuberculosis and for hemorrhage.
- Malays use decoction of root after childbirth.
- In Indonesia, decoction of roots used for bronchial disorders; flower decoction used for amenorrhea and hypertension.
- Decoction used for urinary problems.

- In Vietnam, roots, stems, leaves, and flowers are used for irregular menses, high blood pressure, tuberculosis, hemoptysis, rheumatism, and acne.

Quisumbing's compilation and some others lists Ixora chinensis and I. coccinea as separate species while some compilations list them as synonyms. Click Santan for I. coccinea studies.
Anti-tumor: In a modified tumour promotion test, complete inhibition of all kinds of tumours was exhibited by decoctions of flowers of I. coccinea and I. chinensis.


Last Update April 2014

Photos ©Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Ixora chinensis / No.73898
Ixora chinensis Lam. / Catalogue of Life, China 2011
Ixora chinensis / AgroForestryTree Database

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